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Edited by Paul Goldsmith
Despite the threat of being banned from international competition by the UCI, the Italian Cycling Federation does not want to pay for former Polti rider Luc Leblanc's lost wages. Leblanc is owed approximately 330,000 euros after being sacked by Polti in 1999 before his contract finished. The UCI declared that the Italian Federation was responsible, until the matter was settled between Il Gabbiano (Polti's paying agent) and Leblanc.
However, FCI president Gian Carlo Ceruti said that his federation has taken the matter to court, with the aim of removing its responsibility in the Leblanc case. The UCI has said that it will prevent Italian riders from competing in international competitions if Leblanc is not paid by June 2002.
Belgians dominated from start to finish with the race coming down to a 3 up sprint between Mario De Clercq, Tom Vannoppen, and Sven Nijs.
After the cat and mouse game started, Nijs jumped from way out and De Clercq quickly got his wheel with Vannoppen in tow. Nijs looked back and saw the baggage he was carrying just in time to see De Clercq jump hard across the road to claim the rainbow jersey. Vannoppen tried to follow De Clercq, but could not match the ecstatic rider's explosive jump for the line.
For full results and report
After an eventful Sunday afternoon session at the Copenhagen Six Matt Gilmore and Scott McGrory moved into the overall lead by taking the final pursuit of the day.
For the full report and results click here.
By Tommy Campbell in Ipoh
The leader board of the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi after day three has a familiar look about it, yet again.
In pole position after day three of the stage from Lumut to Ipoh is the 24 year old Robert Hunter, the South African representing Mapei-Quick Step who still has a 55 second advantage on Eric Wohlberg of Canada, with the Russian Artour Babaitsev from Team Nürnberger a further second in arrears.
Click here for the full results & report
Yesterday's first stage of the Vuelta a Mallorca ended in a bunch sprint and a surprise win for Isaac Galvez (Kelme) holding off Telekom's Erik Zabel on the line. Mapei and Telekom appeared to have it stitched up; the Italian and German teams had worked to set up pre-race favourites Oscar Freire (Spain) and Erik Zabel respectively for the stage win, but Galvez found himself in a good position in the final run to the line to score from Zabel and Thorsten Wilheilms of Team Coast.
Full results and report
The USA team scheduled to compete in the Tour of Cuba suffered a major setback on Saturday when its star rider, Eneas Freyre crashed during stage 3 of the Vuelta a Cienfuegos, a preparatory event in Cuba.
Freyre, who was in fourth overall on GC, fell heavily during an especially difficult section of the 140km stage. Freyre remounted, and the entire US team waited to pace their leader back to the bunch, but the American was not able to regain the field and lost several minutes on the day. Unfortunately for Freyre, and the US team, the day went decidedly downhill after this when x-rays revealed that Freyre severely broke his collarbone. The 25 year-old will return to the United States for surgery.
"I'm incredibly disappointed," said a dejected Freyre. "I trained hard for the Vuelta and am shattered to know that I won't be able to participate. I'll make the US national road championships my next goal, though I doubt the bitterness of this misfortune will pass quickly."
Said US team captain Joe Papp, "This is a major disappointment for the team. Eneas emerged over the last few weeks as not just a leader on the bike, but also as a friend and mentor to many of the younger riders. His departure leaves us without a strong candidate for GC during the tour of Cuba."
The US team is the first group of North Americans ever to compete in the Tour of Cuba, one of the hemisphere's more difficult two week tours. The squad will next ride the Vuelta a Guantanamo, a 3-day event this weekend, before the Tour of Cuba begins with a prologue in Baracoa on 12 February.
The US team
Michael A. Fraysse
With the team presentation season in full swing, Team 'Vlaanderen - T Interim - Eddy Merckx' faced the press recently to introduce their new riders and declare intentions for the coming season. The team is subsidized by the Flemish government and sponsored by T-Interim, a temporary work agency. Eddy Merckx is described on the official website as "our loyal godfather". Now that's a family with connections.
The men's team enters its ninth year in the peloton and with the current arrangements will be around until at least until the end of 2005. Team manager Fons Leroy started the team, formerly known as 'Vlaanderen 2002', at the end of 1993. Team Vlaanderen - T Interim - Eddy Merckx has men's and women's road and cyclo-cross divisions.
The main objective of the team is to remain as a training ground for promising youngsters to enable them to move on to well-established teams. Talented riders like Steels, Verheyen, Aerts, Van de Wouwer, Vermout, Van Hyfte, D'Hollander, and cyclo-cross man Tom Vannoppen (second in yesterday's World championships, click here to see results) started their professional careers in the team.
Last season wasn't a particularly successful road season for the team, with only 3 victories on the road. As a move to strengthening the team, and perhaps an indication of the team's broader aspirations, South African Rudolf Wentzel has been added to the team list. Wentzel is the first non-Belgium to make the team. Wentzel is a talented climber who won several stage-races with the amateurs.
Joining the team for 2002, to make up the 20 rider complment will be 5 neo-pros: Devolder, Kuyckx, Vanhuffel, Verbakel and Wentzel. Devolder is a strong rider for one day-races who adores the Tour of Flanders. Kuyckx and Verbakel are strong finishers; Kuyckx is the first Belgian rider to win a stage in the Baby-giro. Vanhuffel took several top results in classic races with the amateurs. He placed second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Also new, coming from Landbouwkrediet, is Jurgen Vandewalle. This is his fourth year as a professional. On the cyclo-cross side, Tom Vannoppen (Collstrop) has left and been replaced by Daelmanshas and Volckaerts Peter Van Den Abeele becomes new sportive director, especially for the cyclocross riders. The third crossman, Ben Berden, was selected for the World Championships at Zolder, where he finished ninth.
The following riders will return to the team for 2002: Berden, Guns, Schoonacker, Theunis, Van Landschoot, Verstraeten, Beyens, Demeyere, Gerits, Sijmens, Van Capellen & Vidts.
The team will debut at Grand Prix d'ouverture La Marseillaise, followed by the Etoile de Bessèges, the Trofeo Laigueglia, the Tour du haut var and the Classic Haribo. At the same time the team will be in the training camp at Saint-Aygulf, France.
Full team roster
Photo's of the Vlaanderen-T-Interim launch sent in by team webmaster Erik Van Breugel.
By Joe Ward
The inaugural Wildside MTB race in Tasmania, Australia started with massed drag race along Cradle Mountain airstrip in a dash for cash Sunday morning. Mark Lies took the money with Sid Taberlay just behind setting a pattern for the rest of the day.
This was just a warm up for the 121 competitors as they commenced their journey to the West Coast of Tasmania. Over the course of 14 stages, across 4 days, the riders will cover 200km, including terrain that in includes alpine meadows, logging roads and reclaimed tramways.
For report and results click here
Amos Brumble (Cat 1)
Geoff Hamilton+ (Cat 2)
Johs Huseby (Cat 2)
Jeffrey Craddock (Cat 2)
Larry Perera (Cat 2)
Kurt Hackler (Cat 1)
Jay Thomas (Cat 2)
Andrea Cox (Cat 2W)
Catherine Bearce (Cat 2W)
Louise Barros (Cat 2W)
Robin Gilmore Barnes (Cat2W)
Bruce Finass (Cat 3)
Paul Cox (Cat 3)
Sam Wheeler (Cat 4)